I am so incredibly lucky to have so many people who’ve been checking in on me over the last several months as I’ve gone through chemo- I feel so loved each time I get a text, message or call which absolutely helps in my healing! So thank you again to each and everyone of you.
Since I have been asked so often how I am feeling during this process- I thought I’d share how I generally have been feeling each day during the recovery process after chemo. I hope this helps you all understand a little more what going through chemo is like. That said- I have to say that I am aware that I was VERY LUCKY during this process. My body handled chemo exceptionally well and my experience is just that- my experience. I know that other people have a far harder time on the same chemo I was on. Still…here’s my story (plus memes because….memes are life).
Day Zero Thursday: This is Chemo day. The day of chemo I typically felt just fine as the meds take days to really hit you. My usual day started with grabbing coffee at Peet’s that would help keep me awake during chemo (I preferred to stay awake). I took my Ativan on the way down (this helps me feel less anxious and helps keep my blood pressure down) and also saturated the skin around my port with numbing creme so I wouldn’t feel it when they stick that giant tack in my chest! I usually drink 4 small gatorades and 2-3 large bottles of smart water during before/during the chemo- my goal was to pee about every 30 minutes. I think this is one of the things that really helped me have less side effects overall. Sometimes I felt a little tired at the end of the day but usually I felt quite good and could eat and drink normally.
Day 1 Friday: Feel fine usually. Sometimes a little nauseated and a little tired but mostly normal. I get my post chemo shot this day- which helps get my white blood count back up. This shot can cause bone and joint pain but believe it or not, Claritin helps prevent this so I take it daily from a few days before chemo to a week after.
Day 2 Saturday: This day is usually my worst feeling day. Nauseated, tired, and just BLEH. I will feel hungry but food won’t sound good, so I will eat mostly toast with butter. If I am really tired, this is the day I’ll take naps/sleep the most. I usually am lounging on the couch or in my bed watching old TV shows. Even on this worst day, it’s tolerable. Just annoying to feel the yuck.
Day 3 Sunday: This day is similar to day 2 but slightly better. However by now I’ve been on my anti-nausea meds for 3 days and I’m starting to have the lovely side effects which for me are restlessness and brain fog. I really hate how this makes me feel BUT at least I am not nauseated! I’m tired this day but not as much as day 2 and I am mostly eating bland foods like toast and oatmeal. I might be able to eat a little more at dinner like grilled cheese and soup or a quesadilla.
Day 4 Monday: This day is where I start to feel slightly normal again. Usually still tired and appetite still a little off. The nausea usually starts to decrease and I can slowly back off on my meds a little. I can usually eat a mix of more bland foods.
Day 5 Tuesday: Ahhh hello tummy issues. Around this day the diarrhea begins. In the first rounds it started earlier, like day 1 and 2 but the further in it didn’t start until days 4/5. This is a side effect from the P in my TCHP. It really goes after the digestive track. The good news is that my nausea continues to decrease so I am able to eat more variety and take less of the meds so my head starts too clear more.
Day 6 Wednesday: Nausea decreases a lot, the diarrhea continues and then we add the taste bud issues. Around this time is when it starts to feel like my taste buds have been burned off. It starts mild and then increases in severity over the next few days and then gets better- it probably lasts 5-7 days total where food tastes a little odd, spicy things taste more spicy, and overall it feels like my tongue was burned. I regain regular tastes once it runs its course. I sometimes feel lightheaded around this time also- probably from all my levels dropping down post-chemo. However this is the day where I feel I am “over the hump” of the worst part.
Day 7 to 10: During this time I’ve got intermittent diarrhea and the taste bud issues. Sometimes I feel a little lightheaded off and on but I mostly feel good during this time. When not in a pandemic- I usually can get out of he house a little during these days (like a quick Target run) however clearly this last round I am staying in except for doctors appointments. I have intermittent nausea during these times- usually with bigger meals like dinner but I take my meds and feel better. The point that all of my counts are at their lowest is supposed to be around day 10 so I might have a day around 8-10 where I feel more tired but it passes quickly.
Day 10 and on: I am basically feeling totally better at this point. This is point where I may indulge in a glass of wine and can eat totally normally. I might have a couple waves of nausea here too but it’s not bad and I can take meds or sometimes just have some sprite to ease it (my miracle anti-nausea med, haha).
So that is about it for my chemo recovery timeline! if you have any questions feel free to ask me and I’ll try to answer them for you.
you are such an inspiring young woman!!!!! The explanations are real and to the point. Maybe you should write a book or pamphlet that doctors can give other patients to read. Just to know what to expect in the REAL WORLD of chemo. You are so brave. Prayers with you and your family. Oh, why did E have to have an MRI is she ok???